Local derby matches can throw up any number of scenarios and this one turned out to be an overall mediocre match, error strewn and yet with an exciting ending.
The Seaweeds started much the better as skipper Lloyd Long led the way, his forwards ploughing wave after wave into the heart of the Cefn defence from the off and it seemed an early score was on the cards but Jordan Skidmore scuffed his early penalty shot.
Porthcawl lock Richard Hnyda was yellow carded for an alleged body check and his ten minutes in the bin threatened to hand the momentum to the home side, however despite centre Rob Curl’s slick prompting, Cefn couldn’t take advantage, and Cefn full-back Adam Lloyd’s penalty chance falling short.
This was billed as being possibly the match of the day and it didn’t fail to live up to that billing, with the valley outfit coming good at the death to take the spoils.
Indeed Nantymoel started far the better, bringing pressure to bear almost from kick-off and when J Witts popped over an early penalty for 0-3, Porthcawl knew that it would take all they could muster to get a result. A great steal by Dai James at a breakdown saw Jordan Skidmore to scythe into the visitors 22 to test the defence, which held firm. Skidmore it was again moments later as his mesmerising 50 metre break was halted only with a last-ditch tackle when the posts beckoned.
Nanty are a quality side and their quick thinking brought rewards at a tap penalty as No 8 A Faulkner snapped up the try wide out, which Witts improved with a super kick for 0-10.
One thing the Seaweeds have shown so far this term is a determination to get back on terms when trailing and when flanker Tom Lodwig, who was excellent throughout, drove into the heart of the Nanty defence, scrum half Connor Rees, deftly got the ball away to Mattie Davies and Gareth Richards sent wing Gareth Rees haring over for a fine try, goaled by Jon Phillips and at 7-10 it was game on again.
Matches between these two clubs rarely fail to disappoint and this encounter was no exception, providing a fine afternoon’s very entertaining Rugby, as the Seaweeds eventually ran out comfortable winners.
The standard of play throughout the match was high and it was the visitors that had much the better of the early stages. With barely two minutes played, Porthcawl took the lead with flanker Gareth Davies notching his third try in as many weeks for a 5-nil lead, following an immense forward onslaught from the Porthcawl eight.
Barely three minutes later, the elusive Jordan Skidmore rounded off a brilliant move in which Dai James and skipper Lloyd Long were instrumental amongst the nine pairs of hands that moved the ball wide, and he rounded almost behind the posts for a try, converted by Jon Phillips for 12-0.
Long, back after missing the first three matches, was immense for Porthcawl throughout the afternoon, to lead from the front with a barnstorming display, along with No.8 Matt Davies who was also back to his best during the opening spell.
Sports did get their act together to get into the match with a deserved try by centre Lee Roderick, converted Ken Morris, just after Porthcawl prop Tim Lunn found himself in the sin bin for transgressing at a ruck, for 12-7.
As both sides showed an entertaining penchant for moving the ball in the superb conditions, a momentous break by Porthcawl lock Nick Nutman, that ripped through the heart of the home defence, culminated in Dai James coasting over for an unconverted try, as the half drew to a close at 17-7.
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Porthcawl 26 Bryncethin 27
In what some might describe as the match of the day in the division, Porthcawl were denied with the very last kick of a truly fascinating derby match.
The game was barely two minutes old when the visitors struck an ominous blow, with a converted try almost before Porthcawl had realised the match had started, for 0-7. However, reality soon hit home and great work by the home eight set the platform for Jordan Skidmore to scythe past several defenders on a 40 metre run to score a try behind the posts which he also converted to level matters.
The Seaweeds pack played another part in the next score as Nick Nutman benefitted from a tremendous forward drive to score halfway out, only for Skidmore’s conversion to literally skid more off the side of his boot and wide of the mark for 12-14.
Bryncethin are not the side to relax against however and they responded in usual fashion with another converted try for a 12-21 lead going into the break.